DGCA curtails SpiceJet's flights to 50 pc

A financial assessment carried out by DGCA in September 2021 has revealed that Spicejet is operating on cash and carry and suppliers approved vendors are not being paid on regular basis leading to the shortage of spares and frequent invoking of Minimum Equipment Lists (MELS).
Representative image
Representative image

NEW DELHI: After the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) restricted Spicejet to operating only 50 per cent of flights for eight weeks, the airline on Wednesday said there will be absolutely no impact on the flight operation as other airlines had already rescheduled its flight. Reviewing the reply of Spicejet on show cause notice, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday restricted the airline to operating only 50 per cent of flights for eight weeks.

In a letter to Spicejet, the Joint Director General of Civil Aviation mentioned that the reported incidents on aircraft operated by Spicejet from 1st April to 5th July, 2022 were reviewed and it was observed that on a number of occasions, the aircraft either turned back to its originating station or continued landing to the destination with degraded safety margins. There is poor internal safety oversight and inadequate maintenance actions, which have resulted in the degradation of the safety margins. Reacting to DGCA restriction, SpiceJet stated, "We are in receipt of the DGCA order and will act as per directions of the regulator. Due to the current lean travel season, SpiceJet like other airlines had already rescheduled its flight operations. Hence, there will be absolutely no impact on our flight operations."

The airline further added, "We want to reassure our passengers and travel partners that our flights will operate as per schedule in the coming days and weeks. There will be no flight cancellation as a consequence of this order. DGCA's observation that SpiceJet is taking measures for arresting the trend of incidents is very encouraging and we will continue to work under the close guidance of the regulator." A financial assessment carried out by DGCA in September 2021 has revealed that Spicejet is operating on cash and carry and suppliers approved vendors are not being paid on regular basis leading to the shortage of spares and frequent invoking of Minimum Equipment Lists (MELS).

Whereas from the above, it was deduced that Spicejet failed to establish a safe, efficient and reliable air transport service under the terms of rule 134 read with Schedule XI of the Aircraft Rules, 1937 and accordingly, a show cause notice was issued on July 5, 2022, to the Accountable Manager of M/s Spicejet Ltd. to explain within three weeks of receipt of the notice as to why action should not be taken against the airline. "On July 25, Spicejet submitted a reply to the show cause notice. The same has been reviewed at an appropriate level and it has been observed that Spicejet is taking measures for arresting the trend of incidents, however, the airline needs to sustain these efforts for safe and reliable air transport service," the letter reads.

It further reads that in view of findings of various spot checks, inspections and the reply to the show cause notice submitted by Spicejet, for the continued sustenance of safe and reliable air transport service, the number of departures of Spicejet are hereby restricted to 50 per cent of the number of departures approved under Summer Schedule 2022 for a period of 8 weeks from the date of issue of this order, in accordance with powers conferred under rule 19A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937. Any increase in the number of departures beyond 50 per cent of the number of departures approved under Summer Schedule 2022, during this period, shall be subject to the airline demonstrating to the satisfaction of DGCA that it has sufficient technical support and financial resource to safely and efficiently undertake such enhanced capacity.

During these eight weeks' period, the airline shall be subjected to "Enhanced Surveillance" by DGCA Further decision in the matter shall be taken thereafter, it reads.

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